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Cheating at Canasta: Stories
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The greatest living writer of short stories in the English language.
"The New Yorker"
Another stellar collection from Trevor (A Bit on the Side: Stories, 2004, etc.). Blarney-freeshorn, too, of much of anything overtly lyrical or political or Catholic Gothicthese aren't standard-issue Irish tales. Yet Trevor gives us an unassailably real contemporary Ireland, quotidian and atmospheric as fog. In "The Dressmaker's Child," Cahal the mechanic lives in a small-town world of Ford Cortinas and WD-40, and yet collides with the uncanny. Spanish pilgrims he's chauffeuring to visit the Virgin of the Wayside, a statue whose miraculous tears have been debunked, kiss in his backseat, unaware of the thud as he hits a small girl on the dark road. Guilt descends and, his crime undetected, a year later he returns to the Virgin: Her marble face is moist. "Faith," meanwhile, concerns a difficult woman named Hester, given to "severity and suspicion," whose brother's improbable solicitude during her dark dying makes the tale one of the most convincing deathbed stories since Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Illyich." A dim tramp, Donal Prunty, returns home in "Men of Ireland" after failure in England. He's wretched and, hoping to share his wretchedness, blackmails a guileless priest by hinting that the old man is a pedophile like so many of his clerical brethren. "Diminished by the sins that so deeply stained his cloth, distrustful of his people," Father Meade hands over money to the thief then prays for him. In the marvelous title story, old Mallory redeems a promise to his recently dead wife to return to Harry's Bar in Venice and review the Italian sights the couple had once loved. In the famous bistro, he overhears a couple, stylish as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, bicker and pout andmiscommunicate. He mourns his loss and their waste of love.
Profound.
"Kirkus Reviews"
The greatest living writer of short stories in the English language.
"The New Yorker"
Magisterial...Trevors stories, however dark they may seem, however forlornly uncompromising, are actually significantly shaped. Trevor wants us to see the point of his narratives: he wants us to experience a small but genuine catharsis as we reach the last lines, to understand what the story is trying to sayTrevor is quite at ease with lengthy passages of timeTrevors method and aim are very precise.Trevor both shows and tells, in case we miss the pointsomething Chekhov never did. Trevor is not the Irish Chekhov.he has created a version of the short story that almost ignores the forms hundred or so years of intricate evolution. These stories stay in the mind long after theyre finished because theyre so solid, so deliberately shaped and directed so surely toward their solemn, harsh conclusions. Perhaps there is an eighth type of short story after all: the Trevorian.
"The New York Times Book Review"
Literature will outpace us, like the cockroaches. After all the tinkering is done, the biggering and bettering, the rebuilding and ruining, we will have only books like William Trevors new collection Cheating at Canasta, to remind us how serious, noble, painful and happy human life once was. Trevors storiesso like James Joyces and Alice Munrospreserve something of the scale of human life.
"Los Angeles Times"
As a book critic, the three comments I hear most often are, I don't have time to read books, I don't like short stories,"and I only read nonfiction. A possible rejoinder to all three is: Have you ever read William Trevor? His stories many of which involve adultery, guilt, and longing are marvels of craftsmanship in which whole lives are distilled into potently concentratedessences that can be easily quaffed in a sittingAfter decades at his craft, he's writing in top form, exploring misgivings and longings with subtlety and acuity.
"Christian Science Monitor"
" There are just a few reliable things in life: death, taxes, hunger and the precision of William Trevors short stories. The Irish-born writer never waivers in his nuanced examinations of loneliness and the peculiar ways people find themselves connecting to each other.
"Associated Press"
The Short Story as a form is difficult to mater and powerful in effectlike a well-strung bow. [Trevor] is unquestionably a master. Trevors attention has turned in this latest collection to matters of regret and loss, but the energy of erotic desire and dangerous transgressionssin, as it once was richly understood in his native Irelandstill charges his world, running like a hot current under the surface of every human interaction.
"O, The Oprah Magazine"
Say the name William Trevor, and that is recommendation enough for some readers.His stories are all of one piece, and a reader barely has time to marvel at a turn of phrase or choice word because everything is so tightly pitched to move the story forward. And there are marvelous linesTrevor is known as a profound observer of human nature, sharp and insightful. There is a point in his stories, calm and mild at first, when everything changesa revelation, lie, betrayal, accident or violence plunges the narrative straight into drama. And for the reader, its an astonishing feeling.
"USA Today"
With a half-century of fiction behind him, William Trevors stories carry a signature of such unerring certainty that they might as well be castin stoneHowever mournful in the world they portray, these stories posses an unwavering mortal center that is itself a measure of greatness.
"Boston Globe"
In a few pages, [Trevor] evokes a lifetime of hurt, rage, and shame, mingles with unbidden sympathy and understanding, an emotional cocktail so believably complex youll want to sample it again and again.
"Entertainment Weekly, Grade: A"
Another stellar collection from Trevor (A Bit on the Side: Stories, 2004, etc.). Blarney-freeshorn, too, of much of anything overtly lyrical or political or Catholic Gothicthese aren't standard-issue Irish tales. Yet Trevor gives us an unassailably real contemporary Ireland, quotidian and atmospheric as fog. In "The Dressmaker's Child," Cahal the mechanic lives in a small-town world of Ford Cortinas and WD-40, and yet collides with the uncanny. Spanish pilgrims he's chauffeuring to visit the Virgin of the Wayside, a statue whose miraculous tears have been debunked, kiss in his backseat, unaware of the thud as he hits a small girl on the dark road. Guilt descends and, his crime undetected, a year later he returns to the Virgin: Her marble face is moist. "Faith," meanwhile, concerns a difficult woman named Hester, given to "severity and suspicion," whose brother's improbable solicitude during her dark dying makes the tale one of the most convincing deathbed stories since Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Illyich." A dim tramp, Donal Prunty, returns home in "Men of Ireland" after failure in England. He's wretched and, hoping to share his wretchedness, blackmails a guileless priest by hinting that the old man is a pedophile like so many of his clerical brethren. "Diminished by the sins that sodeeply stained his cloth, distrustful of his people," Father Meade hands over money to the thief then prays for him. In the marvelous title story, old Mallory redeems a promise to his recently dead wife to return to Harry's Bar in Venice and review the Italian sights the couple had once loved. In the famous bistro, he overhears a couple, stylish as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, bicker and pout and miscommunicate. He mourns his loss and their waste of love.
Profound.
"Kirkus Reviews"
The greatest living writer of short stories in the English language.
"The New Yorker"
aMagisterial...Trevoras stories, however dark they may seem, however forlornly uncompromising, are actually significantly shaped. Trevor wants us to see the point of his narratives: he wants us to experience a small but genuine catharsis as we reach the last lines, to understand what the story is trying to saya]Trevor is quite at ease with lengthy passages of timea]Trevoras method and aim are very precisea].Trevor both shows and tells, in case we miss the pointasomething Chekhov never did. Trevor is not the Irish Chekhova].he has created a version of the short story that almost ignores the formas hundred or so years of intricate evolution. These stories stay in the mind long after theyare finished because theyare so solid, so deliberately shaped and directed so surely toward their solemn, harsh conclusions. Perhaps there is an eighth type of short story after all: the Trevorian.a
"aThe New York Times Book Review"
aLiterature will outpace us, like the cockroaches. After all the tinkering is done, the biggering and bettering, the rebuilding and ruining, we will have only books like William Trevoras new collection aCheating at Canasta, a to remind us how serious, noble, painful and happy human life once was. Trevoras storiesaso like James Joyceas and Alice Munroasapreserve something of the scale of human life.a
"aLos Angeles Times"
aAs a book critic, the three comments I hear most often are, aI don't have time to read books, a aI don't like short stories,"aand aI only read nonfiction.a A possible rejoinder to all three is: Have you ever read William Trevor? His stories a many of which involve adultery, guilt, and longing a are marvels of craftsmanship in which whole livesare distilled into potently concentrated essences that can be easily quaffed in a sittinga]After decades at his craft, he's writing in top form, exploring misgivings and longings with subtlety and acuity.a
"aChristian Science Monitor"
" There are just a few reliable things in life: death, taxes, hunger and the precision of William Trevoras short stories. The Irish-born writer never waivers in his nuanced examinations of loneliness and the peculiar ways people find themselves connecting to each other.a
"aAssociated Press"
aThe Short Story as a form is difficult to mater and powerful in effectalike a well-strung bow. [Trevor] is unquestionably a master. Trevoras attention has turned in this latest collection to matters of regret and loss, but the energy of erotic desire and dangerous transgressionsasin, as it once was richly understood in his native Irelandastill charges his world, running like a hot current under the surface of every human interaction.a
a"O, The Oprah Magazine"
aSay the name William Trevor, and that is recommendation enough for some readersa].His stories are all of one piece, and a reader barely has time to marvel at a turn of phrase or choice word because everything is so tightly pitched to move the story forward. And there are marvelous linesa]Trevor is known as a profound observer of human nature, sharp and insightful. There is a point in his stories, calm and mild at first, when everything changesaa revelation, lie, betrayal, accident or violence plunges the narrative straight into drama. And for the reader, itas an astonishing feeling.a
a"USA Today"
aWith a half-century of fiction behind him, William Trevoras stories carry asignature of such unerring certainty that they might as well be cast in stonea]However mournful in the world they portray, these stories posses an unwavering mortal center that is itself a measure of greatness.a
"aBoston Globe"
aIn a few pages, [Trevor] evokes a lifetime of hurt, rage, and shame, mingles with unbidden sympathy and understanding, an emotional cocktail so believably complex youall want to sample it again and again.
a"Entertainment Weekly, Grade: A"
aAnother stellar collection from Trevor (A Bit on the Side: Stories, 2004, etc.). Blarney-freeashorn, too, of much of anything overtly lyrical or political or Catholic Gothicathese aren't standard-issue Irish tales. Yet Trevor gives us an unassailably real contemporary Ireland, quotidian and atmospheric as fog. In "The Dressmaker's Child," Cahal the mechanic lives in a small-town world of Ford Cortinas and WD-40, and yet collides with the uncanny. Spanish pilgrims he's chauffeuring to visit the Virgin of the Wayside, a statue whose miraculous tears have been debunked, kiss in his backseat, unaware of the thud as he hits a small girl on the dark road. Guilt descends and, his crime undetected, a year later he returns to the Virgin: Her marble face is moist. "Faith," meanwhile, concerns a difficult woman named Hester, given to "severity and suspicion," whose brother's improbable solicitude during her dark dying makes the tale one of the most convincing deathbed stories since Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Illyich." A dim tramp, Donal Prunty, returns home in "Men of Ireland" after failure in England. He's wretched and, hoping to share his wretchedness, blackmails a guileless priest by hinting that the old man is apedophile like so many of his clerical brethren. "Diminished by the sins that so deeply stained his cloth, distrustful of his people," Father Meade hands over money to the thief then prays for him. In the marvelous title story, old Mallory redeems a promise to his recently dead wife to return to Harry's Bar in Venice and review the Italian sights the couple had once loved. In the famous bistro, he overhears a couple, stylish as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, bicker and pout and miscommunicate. He mourns his loss and their waste of love.
Profound.a
a"Kirkus Reviews"
aThe greatest living writer of short stories in the English language.a
a"The New Yorker"
?Magisterial...Trevor's stories, however dark they may seem, however forlornly uncompromising, are actually significantly shaped. Trevor wants us to see the point of his narratives: he wants us to experience a small but genuine catharsis as we reach the last lines, to understand what the story is trying to say?Trevor is quite at ease with lengthy passages of time?Trevor's method and aim are very precise?.Trevor both shows and tells, in case we miss the point?something Chekhov never did. Trevor is not the Irish Chekhov?.he has created a version of the short story that almost ignores the form's hundred or so years of intricate evolution. These stories stay in the mind long after they?re finished because they?re so solid, so deliberately shaped and directed so surely toward their solemn, harsh conclusions. Perhaps there is an eighth type of short story after all: the Trevorian.?
"?The New York Times Book Review"
?Literature will outpace us, like the cockroaches. After all the

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